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April 2016 Archives

Three Mandatory Minimum Sentences struck down this week

The Supreme Court recently released a judgment in Lloyd striking down as unconstitutional a minimum sentence for drug trafficking. The Court found the minimum sentence, a one-year mandatory minimum where the offender has been convicted of a previous drug offence within the last 10 years, violates section 12 of the Charter because it doesn't allow for judicial discretion based on the circumstances of the particular conduct and the individual offender. The mandatory minimum sentence amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.

Selling garden supplies to a drug grow-op can constitute aiding and abetting

A recent Court of Appeal decision ruled that a man who ran a garden supply store utilized by various marijuana grow-ops. At trial he had been convicted for aiding and abetting the people with the grow-ops, as well as conspiring with them. The Court of Appeal dismissed the conspiracy charges, but also un-stayed the aiding and abetting charges and imposed the same sentence. While the end result is the same for the accused - 20 months incarceration - the Court's decision provides some guidance on the issue of to what degree of criminality can be attached to someone selling supplies to a grow-op.

Jian Ghomeshi's acquittals and sexual assault trials

The recent acquittal of Jian Ghomesi on a number of sexual assault counts against multiple complainants has sparked headlines around the country. The fallout of the acquittals has left many expressing disappointment with the justice system, and expressing anger over victim rights. While the trial gained national notoriety due to the accused being such a well-known celebrity, the truth is that the allegations and the defence's tactics are ones seen in the Ontario Court of Justice on a daily basis.

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